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St Kitts and Nevis

Key facts

Date of Membership in CARICOM: 26 Jul 1974

Also Known as:Mother Colony of the West Indies

Status of Independence:Independent

Area: 269 sq km (104 miles2)

Capital City: Basseterre

Population: 54,000 (2013)

Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$)

Highest National Award: Order of the National Hero


GDP Growth: 0.9% p.a. 2009–13

GNI: US$724m

GNI PC: US$13,460

Key dates in history

1493   Arrival of Columbus on island known to Amerindians as ‘ Laimuiga’ fertile land which Columbus is

Said to have renamed ‘San Cristobal’ (St Christopher) after himself known to Amerindians as

‘Oualie’ renamed by Columbus ‘las Nieves” referring to the cloud- covered Nevis peak said to

Remind him of snow capped mountains in Spain

1623   First British settlement in the West Indies

1690   Severe earth quake and tidal wave destroyed what is believed to be the first capital of Nevis

(James Town)

1783   Ceded to Britain following shared use with France

1816   Together with Anguilla and British Virgin Island administered as single British Colony

1871   Incorporated within Leeward Islands Federation

1958   Member of West Indies Federation (St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla)

1967   Associated Statehood with Britain (full internal self-government) within WISA.

Robert L. Bradshaw, first Premier

1980   Formal dissolution of association with Anguilla

1983   Achieved independence as a federation. Dr. Kennedy A. Simmonds, first Prime Minister

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